18th March 2019
Having brackets and wires fitted to your teeth can feel a bit alien, to begin with. This can sometimes pose a bit of a challenge to keeping braces clean. Typically braces are fitted because you want them or you need them, either way, a small amount of commitment is required.but they do require a small amount of commitment. To get the best results from your brace treatment, it’s important you keep your teeth clean and healthy.
It’s essential to practice exceptional dental hygiene to prevent irreversible staining around your brace brackets. You’ll need to dedicate a little more time to brush your teeth and your brace – making sure you carefully brush between your brackets and behind your wires. To make sure you clean right up against the brackets of your brace, we recommend using interdental brushes. You can also use these to clean in between your teeth instead of floss.
Ideally, you should be giving your teeth a quick brush after every meal. Food can easily be trapped in your brace which can not only be annoying to your tongue, embarrassing when you smile but detrimental to the health of your enamel. If you’re not able to brush your teeth, the next best thing is to vigorously rinse your mouth with some water, you could also carry a travel size fluoride mouthwash with you to use.
It’s important to continue to see your general dentist for routine dental exams during your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontic check-ups aren’t a substitute for a comprehensive dental health examination.
We also recommend more frequent hygiene appointments to keep your teeth clean, particularly if we spot any tartar building up. Hardened plaque can often prevent a tooth from moving so hygiene visits are important to keeping braces clean.
Failure to be diligent in your cleaning means you’re running the risk of developing decay, gum disease or irreversible staining or white spots (areas of demineralisation). We will keep a close eye on your oral hygine and if any risks are continually present we could recommend terminating your treatment.
We would ideally tell you to elimiate sugary, fizzy or acidic drinks like cola and wine. But we couldn’t either! We ask that you avoid them as best you can. Be mindful when you have them and try to drink through a straw will help the liquid bypass your teeth. Sugary foods should also be avoided or limited to mealtimes – sugar increases your risk of acid erosion and decay. The same goes for acidic foods like citrus fruits.
Finally, you’ll want to limit anything that might stain your teeth – revealing small white squares when your brace comes off! Side-step culprits like red wine, coffee and ketchup. If it would stain your t-shirt, it will stain your teeth.